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SolidWorks


About
Website
SolidWorks

Available for
windows* mac
linux** unix
java

Tags
cad computer-aided-design 3d-modeling dxf prototyping

SolidWorks 3D CAD is designed to let ideas be transformed quickly into products. Its powerful toolsets and virtual prototyping generates manufacture-ready drawings in record time with accuracy and appealing realism.

The light graphical interface maximizes the graphics area and gives quick access to commands and options. There is a semi-transparent toolbar of options when you need it, yet it fades away as the mouse moves away from it and becomes solid when you move the mouse back to select an option. This is very convenient for those who find that immovable toolbars stifle their creativity.

The Command Manager is a horizontal tool bar with part, drawing and assembly tabs placed in the center of the graphics area so that you can access related commands on a customizable toolbar. It is semitransparent to act as a visual yet unobtrusive heads-up display; when the screen is split it appears in each one in order to give the operator specific pane control.

SolidWorks also has RealView to allow real time modeling in a nearly realistic environment. It reflects a design better than standard software due to dynamic use of textures, shadows, materials. The Appearances Property Manager optimizes mapping orientation, size and style.

Modeling has also been made more realistic. You can simulate a cutting tool passing through a solid body to demonstrate function, for example. If you're in sheet metal environment, you can add weld beads to your 3D model that are suppressed when the model is flattened. You can also export flat patterns to DXF format without having to create a drawing sheet first.

Other editions include features such as simulation but for basic, quick idea-to-prototype function SolidWorks is more than up to the task.

Open source SolidWorks alternatives

FreeCAD
Available for: windows mac linux unix java
FreeCAD is general purpose CAD (computer aided drawing) software that targets product design and mechanical engineering. It can be easily used for any engineering specialty, featuring tools that are... Read more
QCad Community Edition
Available for: windows mac linux unix java
QCad Community Edition is an open source edition of RibbonSoft's CAD system. QCad is a 2D CAD application that aims at being simple enough for anyone to use - even users with no previous CAD... Read more
Archimedes
Available for: windows mac linux unix java
Archimedes is a computer aided design (CAD) solution focusing on architectural design. While the current version of Archimedes may not be mature enough for all - this project is very promising. It... Read more
BRL-CAD
Available for: windows mac linux unix java
BRL-CAD is an open source cad systems based around constructive solid geometry (csg) modeling. On top of all of it's modeling features, such as the interactive geometry editor, BRL-CAD offers... Read more



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